Rossi's Axial (turntable-style) bindings are 110 mm shorter than traditional step-ins, making them a natural fit for today's shorter skis. Meanwhile, lateral arms on the heel and high elasticity permit the use of lower DIN settings without fear of pre-release. Aggressive skiers who over-crank their bindings find they can set Rossiscloser to their DIN recommendations. For high-end skiers, the Axial 140 Race is actually a plate-binding system with a GS ski built around it. These Power Pulsion System (PPS) skis accept only Rossignol bindings. The plate works with the design of the ski to deliver energy to the edge and spread it along the ski. Elastomers get stiffer the more you bend the ski. The result is predictable, manageable rebound.
Axial 140 T-Plate S
Elastomer in the heel absorbs shock without allowing the heel to rock sideways. The 14-mm toe height and 10-mm heel minimizes ramp, while the plate provides lift and leverage. This combination of lift and flat ramp angle generates power from the tail. The ski feels solid and vibration-free-even in a 174-cm length. And there seems to be no speed limit. The only limitation is your ability to resist the G-forces.
Axium 100 X-Plate
Here is an ultra-light binding at an attractive price. The new toe is sleeker looking, and the two-piece heel, with weight-reducing cutouts, has a long lever arm for easy entry and exit. Rossi claims it's the most torsionally rigid binding in its category. The brake is removable-convenient for tuning-and the plate provides 10 mm of lift for edging leverage. The 100 feels a little sluggish and nervous compared to the very damp higher-end Rossis, but for an intermediate skier it's a killer value.
FTX 120 X-Plate S
The three-piece heel is unchanged from last year, but the X-Plate S, like the T-Plate S, has elastomer to dissipate vibrations without sacrificing the torsional rigidity that keeps the ski from twisting. This is a good alternative to the more expensive Axial turntable products from Rossignol. The binding feels solid and is easy to step into. There is a pad on the heel to protect your base and edges as you step out-a thoughtful touch. The FTX lacks some of the obvious performance-enhancement features of the Axial, but the 10-mm lifter plate provides good leverage, and there is noticeable dampening under the heel.
Race Axial 100 Race, Axial 140 Race
All-Mountain Expert Axial 100 T-Plate S, Axial 140 T-Plate S
Freerider Axial 100 Freeride T-Plate S, Axial 140 Freeride T-Plate S
All-Mountain Cruiser FTX 110 X-Plate S, FTX 120 X-Plate S
Player Axiom 100 X-Plate, FTX 110 X-Plate S
Aspiring Carver Axium 100 X-Plate, FTX 110 X-Plate
Women Saphir 90 X-Plate, Axial 100 Saphir T-Plate S